Colleges ditch cafeteria trays for the environment
Colleges across America are ditching cafeteria trays in the hope of conserving water, cutting down on food waste and trying to save some money.
Some even believe trayless cafeterias could help avoid the dreaded “freshman 15” — the number of pounds supposedly gained in the first year on campus (and on all-you-can-eat meal plans). “I like not having to carry a tray around,” said Peter McInerney, a freshman here at Skidmore College, as he grabbed a midafternoon snack of an egg sandwich, pancakes and apple juice. “It makes it feel like this is less of a machine just spitting food out. It’s still not home, but it feels more homey without the tray.”
Some colleges have banned trays on certain days of the week, or from certain dining rooms, and they have seen a better use of food, and students taking more of an interest into what they are doing to the environment. The next step is to implement ideas like vegan entrees and recycable containers.
Trayless dining is quickly becoming the hot new idea for colleges. Williams College in Massachusetts is saving 14,000 gallons of water a year, since they are not washing trays anymore. Other colleges are seeing a reduction in food waste as students can't carry as much.
“With the trays, you come in and often your eyes are bigger than your stomach,” said the manager, Janet Olivieri, who frequently eats at the dining hall and has lost 10 pounds since the change. “This way they can only get what they can carry on one plate. If the customer wants more, they have to make a conscious decision to come back for it.”
One of the disadvantages however, could be that students have to keep getting up to get more food, but at least that's more excercise right?